D’oh! Bernie Sanders’ Climate Change Agenda Would Actually Increase Carbon Emissions ‘Dramatically’

Sen. Bernie Sanders is a green warrior. That much is clear, but his environmental agenda would be an absolute disaster…for those in the climate change camp. For starters, he wants to tackle natural gas and nuclear power. Nuclear power is responsible for 20 percent of America’s energy. Remove that from the equation with no equitable alternative that could meet the former’s energy needs, and you have to resort to resources that already have an extensive infrastructure. That would be coal—the boogeyman of the environmental left. Foreign Policy delved into Sanders’ paradoxical energy policy and how it has been applied elsewhere in the world, which experienced the same results: higher carbon emissions.

Wouldn’t those proposals drive the country back to coal and oil, and actually undermine your fight against global warming?” Errol Louis, one of the debate moderators, asked Sanders during Thursday’s [April 14] debate in Brooklyn, New York.

“No, they wouldn’t,” Sanders shot back. He called for a massive increase in the use of renewable energy, especially solar power, and said that if the United States took the climate threat as seriously as it did the Nazis in World War II, the country could in a few years radically transform its entire energy system.

[…]

Third Way crunched the numbers and found that getting rid of nuclear power means U.S. carbon emissions would “go up dramatically,” and in the worst-case scenario, could “wipe out a decade’s worth of progress” and return U.S. carbon emissions to levels last seen in 2005. That’s because retired nuclear plants would almost always be replaced by natural gas or coal. Freed said that when the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant was shuttered in 2014, the electricity shortfall was largely made up by burning more coal.

It’s a question that bedevils countries around the world. Germany is phasing out nuclear power as part of its ambitious energy transition, and is betting it can power one of the world’s biggest economies largely with renewable energy. But Germany’s greenhouse-gas emissions rose in the years after the phaseout was reaffirmed in 2011.

Japan shut down all of its nuclear plants after the 2011 meltdown at Fukushima. What made up the electricity shortfall? Crude oil, natural gas, and coal, which together make it a lot harder for Japan to reach its emissions targets.

So, in some odd way, if you’re a coal worker, you might want to Sanders to beat Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination and go on to win in the general because coal is the only alternative if President Bernie decides to axe natural gas and nuclear power. At the same time, the fact that coal and crude oil would be the only secondary protocols to make up for the energy shortfalls due to Sanders’ uber-left green agenda shows how inefficient alternative energy truly is–and why the country should focus on the energy resources, where the United States is (in some sectors) unrivaled in terms of supply. That would be coal, oil, and natural gas. This country is built on those three energy resources, and coal is burning cleaner than ever before. Maybe that’s why it’s looked to, as the future for our energy needs since the world is packed with it (via Wired):

Nowhere is the preeminence of coal more apparent than in the planet’s fastest-growing, most populous region: Asia, especially China. In the past few decades, China has lifted several hundred million people out of destitution—arguably history’s biggest, fastest rise in human well-being. That advance couldn’t have happened without industrialization, and that industrialization couldn’t have happened without coal. More than three-quarters of China’s electricity comes from coal, including the power for the giant electronic plants where iPhones are assembled. More coal goes to heating millions of homes, to smelting steel (China produces nearly half the world’s steel), and to baking limestone to make cement (China provides almost half the world’s cement). In its frantic quest to develop, China burns almost as much coal as the rest of the world put together—a fact that makes climatologists shudder.

[…]

GreenGen is one of the world’s most advanced attempts to develop a technology known as carbon capture and storage. Conceptually speaking, CCS is simple: Industries burn just as much coal as before but remove all the pollutants. In addition to scrubbing out ash and soot, now standard practice at many big plants, they separate out the carbon dioxide and pump it underground, where it can be stored for thousands of years.

Many energy and climate researchers believe that CCS is vital to avoiding a climate catastrophe. Because it could allow the globe to keep burning its most abundant fuel source while drastically reducing carbon dioxide and soot, it may be more important—though much less publicized—than any renewable-energy technology for decades to come. No less than Steven Chu, the Nobel-winning physicist who was US secretary of energy until last year, has declared CCS essential. “I don’t see how we go forward without it,” he says.

 Long live coal, Bernie.

Will Ferrell Pulls Out of Movie That Mocked Reagan's Dementia

Actor Will Ferrell has pulled out of a controversial movie that would have mocked President Reagan's battle with dementia. The plot of the movie involved a White House intern convincing President Ronald Reagan that he was an actor playing the role of the president of the United States.

The real President Reagan died of Alzheimer's disease in 2004.

From Page Six:

The 48-year-old comic confirmed Friday that while he had seen the script and considered signing on to star and produce “Reagan”, he was no longer going ahead with the project.

A spokesperson for Will said, “The REAGAN script is one of a number of scripts that had been submitted to Will Ferrell which he had considered. While it is by no means a ‘Alzheimer’s comedy’ as has been suggested, Mr. Ferrell is not pursuing this project.”

Entertainment industry bible Variety reported on Wednesday that Ferrell was attached to star as President Reagan in the comedy, which begins at the start of the president’s second term when he begins suffering from dementia. An intern is tasked with convincing the commander-in-chief that he is an actor playing the president in a movie. Ferrell was also set to produce the political comedy, they added.

Good. A real-life person's struggle with Alzheimer's disease is nothing to laugh at. Ferrell is a talented actor and it'd be a shame to see him stoop to something this low.

Trump: I'm Not Opposed to Nuking ISIS

On the "Today" show on Thursday, Donald Trump said that despite the fact that he found nuclear weapons to be abhorrent, he wouldn't rule out using them against ISIS.

“I don’t want to rule out anything,” he said Thursday on NBC’s “Today.” Trump noted he doesn't want to use nuclear weapons, calling them "a horror."

“The power of weaponry today is the single greatest problem that our world has, and it’s not global warming like our president said, it’s the power of weapons — in particular, nuclear," he said.

“I will be the last to use it. I will not be a happy trigger like some people might be, but I will never, ever rule it out.”

Also on Thursday, basketball coach Bobby Knight boasted that Trump would "drop the A-bomb like Truman."

Reciprocity: Kansas Concealed Carry Permits Now Recognized In New Hampshire

To the 91,000-plus concealed carry holders living in Kansas, there’s some good news coming out of New Hampshire–your permit will now be recognized in the Granite State (via KSN):

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a news release New Hampshire has notified the Kansas Attorney General’s office that Kansas-issued licenses are now recognized in that state. This brings to 37 the number of states other than Kansas that recognize Kansas licenses.

Since 2013, Kansas has recognized all valid out-of-state permits when the non-resident license holder is traveling temporarily in Kansas. As a result of this, many states that require their licenses to be recognized in Kansas before reciprocally recognizing Kansas licenses have now done so, Schmidt said.

Not exactly an earth-shattering development concerning Second Amendment rights, especially with the Newtown lawsuit that’s to be heard in 2018, but any step towards expanding that right is good news.

The Obamas And The British Royal Family Are Having a Delightful Trash-Talking Session On Twitter

The Invictus Games will be hosted in Orlando, Fl. from May 8 through the 12, and feature athletic competition between wounded military personnel. The first Invictus games were held in the U.K. in 2014. Ahead of the games, the Obamas and the British Royal Family have gotten into a bit of a friendly trash-talk exchange on Twitter, and it's quite delightful.

The Obamas struck first:

Which took Prince Harry, via the Kensington Palace Twitter account, a bit by surprise:

...who then eventually clapped back with this:

"Boom" indeed.

A clever and sweet way to promote a great cause.

The 2017 Invictus Games will be hosted in Canada.

Alabama 11-Year Old Shoots Home Thief, "He Started Crying Like a Little Baby"

Chris Gaither, 11, was alone Wednesday morning in his Alabama home when a would-be burglar decided to enter and steal from the house.

Gaither said he was scared, but quickly realized that there was an imminent threat and grabbed a nine-millimeter hand gun.

“I told him I was going to kill him if he didn’t get out of my house,” Gaither said.

“When he was coming down the stairs, that’s when he told me he was going to kill me, f-you and all that,” Gaither added.

The intruder was on he was out of the home with stolen goods when Gaither opened fire.  

"I shot through a hamper that he was carrying.  It was a full metal jacket bullet. It went straight through the back of his leg. He started crying like a little baby,” he said.

“I hope you learn your lesson coming to this house trying to steal stuff,” Gaither said.

The thief certainly did learn a lesson.  He simply wasn't on Chris's level.

GOP Hits Lowest Approval Rating Since 1992

For Republicans, especially anti-Trump Republicans, this year has been sort of a catastrophe. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), the darling of the Tea Party wing, is trailing billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry–all admired within conservative circles, have been steamrolled by Trump. After eight miserable years of President Obama, this was suppose to be an election where the GOP’s deep bench would shine against an aging Hillary Clinton, whose reputation has been further brought into question due to allegations of corruption, cronyism, and the mishandling of classified information. Instead, we have Donald Trump, who is most likely to lead the Republican Party at the top of the ticket come November. So, with the “Never Trump” crowd doing its best to knock Trump off the nominating pedestal, disgruntled conservatives within the Republican Party, and the overall anger directed towards Washington—it’s no surprise that the GOP’s approval ratings have hit its lowest point since 1992 (via Pew Research):

The Republican Party’s image, already quite negative, has slipped since last fall. Currently 33% of the public has a favorable impression of the Republican Party, while 62% have an unfavorable view. Unfavorable opinions of the GOP are now as high as at any point since 1992.

In October, 37% viewed the Republican Party favorably and 58% viewed it unfavorably. The decline in favorability since then has largely come among Republicans themselves: In the current survey, 68% of Republicans view their party positively, down from 79% last fall.

Republicans have less favorable view of the GOP. By contrast, public views of the Democratic Party are unchanged since October. Currently, 45% of the public has a favorable impression of the Democratic Party, while 50% have an unfavorable opinion.

I guess the silver lining is that Democrats aren’t fairing much better.

California Lawmakers Reject John Wayne Day, Disturbed By His Views On Race

Plans to declare May 26th as John Wayne Day in California have been rejected by the State Assembly over "disturbing views towards race".

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez cited an interview where Wayne defended white Europeans' encroachment on Native American land.

"Our so-called stealing of this country from them was just a matter of survival. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves," the actor said.

Wayne's support for the anti-communist House Un-American Activities Committee and the far right John Birch Society were also brought up.

Assemblyman Matthew Harper, R-Huntington Beach, sought to declare May 26, 2016, as John Wayne Day to mark the day the actor was born. 

"Opposing the John Wayne Day resolution is like opposing apple pie, fireworks, baseball, the Free Enterprise system and the Fourth of July!" he said in a written statement.

"He stood for those big American values that we know and we love," said Assemblyman Travis Allen, R-Huntington Beach.

"Every one of us is imperfect," another Assemblyman said.

Wayne was always known for not being afraid to speak his opinion.  From an interview years ago, Wayne said, "This so-called new liberal group, Jesus, they never listen to your point of view.  And they make a decision as to what you think."

Lewandowski: Trump's Gonna Put Massachusetts in Play, You Guys


No, he won't. But we'll humor you anyway. Go ahead, Corey:


I reacted to this on twitter by chuckling that those must be some powerful drugs he's taking, to which Trump's relentless online mob primarily responded in two ways: First, they furiously accused me of literally accusing Trump's campaign manager of drug use, evincing both profound humorlessness and a devotion to politically-correct "safe spaces." I did not apologize for "triggering" any of the precious snowflakes who pretend to love un-PC insults -- unless and until they're directed at Mister Trump. In which case, they melt down. Second, I was predictably and repeatedly informed that 'TRUMP won Massachusetts in a blowout!' This is true. Trump crushed his opponents in the Bay State's Republican primary, narrowly missing an outright majority amid a much more crowded field at the time. But Massachusetts is Massachusetts. Hillary Clinton won the Democratic primary on the same night. Her raw vote totals in that race surpassed the top three Republicans' support combined.  So did Bernie Sanders, incidentally, who came in second place.  And since I've been preaching that -- altogether now -- primary turnout doesn't predict general election outcomes, let's layer in a more compelling piece of evidence that Lewandowski's assertion is pure fantasy:


When reason is abandoned, wish-casting and visceral emotions take charge. That's what leads people to vigorously nod along as Team Trump makes tremendous predictions of coming glory, believe them. Piggybacking off of Lewandowski's delusions, the candidate reiterated to an Indiana audience today that he'll have a good chance to win New York State in November.  Over the last nine polls, Trump has trailed Hillary Clinton by roughly 20 points in the Empire State, breaking 40 percent support in exactly zero of them. As Trump & Co. appeal to blind faith about his capacity to "expand the map," actual polling data reveals that Mrs. Clinton is competitive in the reliably Republican states of ArizonaMississippi and Utah.  One team's map is likely to expand in the fall, just not Trump's.  I'll leave you with my analysis of the delegate chase -- which Trump fans will probably enjoy -- as well as new Trumpstablishment hero John Boehner's 'Lucifer' remarks:



‘Bomb’ Suspect Who Threatened Fox45 Baltimore Building Suffered ‘Mental Breakdown,’ Says Father

The man who threatened to blow up the Fox45 building in Baltimore yesterday suffered a mental breakdown, according to his father. The suspect dressed in a badger suit and entered the building, saying he possessed a thumb drive with information related to the Panama Papers. The Papers detailed how the uber-wealthy utilized offshore tax havens. When the suspect, described as a 25-year-old male, arrived at the Fox45 building, he wanted to get this information on air. The news director at the station refused, but told the badger suit man that he could leave the thumb drive with him. The suspect refused to do that. He then threatened to blow up the building.

The building was evacuated when the suspect set his car on fire prior to entering the building with his thumb drive. He conversed with a security guard for about 45 minutes, where the guard said he was angry with the government. We now know that anger was directed at government space policy, and that the thumb drive didn’t have anything earth-shattering—just some information about the sun, black holes, and other areas of astrology.

A Baltimore Police sniper shot the suspect, who refused to take his hands out of his pockets and stop upon being ordered by police. With the suspected bomb still strapped to his chest, a robot was sent in to try to get the suspect to show his hands and comply again with police orders. He eventually showed his hands, and the suspect bomb, a combination of wires, tin foil, and candy bars wrapped around a motherboard, was removed from the scene. The suspect was taken to a nearby hospital.

Fox Baltimore’s Shelley Orman, Joy Lepola, Karen Campbell, Amber Miller, and the rest of the news team gave on the ground reports of this bizarre incident. Lepola interviewed the alleged suspect’s father, who said his son had suffered a mental breakdown. It was also confirmed that the suspect was not wearing a panda suit; it was a badger.

Via Fox Baltimore:

The 25-year-old suspect, who investigators identified as a white male from Howard County, was shot by police after forcing an evacuation of the WBFF-TV news station in north Baltimore with a bomb threat.

The man set his car on fire in the station's parking lot before demanding the station air a story he brought with him on a flash drive. Police couldn't confirm the contents of the flash drive, although the station's security guard said it had to do with government conspiracies.

The man, whose name wasn't released Thursday, then threatened to blow up the building after being denied entry to the station's lobby. The man was wearing a surgical mask, sunglasses and what police described as a "panda outfit onesie" with a hood and a red vest-like device underneath. The building was evacuated after it was believed the device was actually a bomb.

[…]

A team of firefighters extinguished the flames coming out of the suspect's sedan's gas tank, while officers blocked off the street before sending in a negotiator.

The man walked outside and was followed by at least four officers in tactical gear. Baltimore police spokesman T.J. Smith said the man had his hands in his pockets with a wire leading down his arm from the red device strapped to his chest.

Smith said the man refused to follow the officers' orders to stop and take his hands out of his pockets.

"When you have a non-compliant individual, you have to do what you have to do," Smith said.

A Baltimore police counter sniper fired and struck the man, who went down in the middle of West 41st Street. Several shots were fired, although Smith couldn't confirm exactly how many.

[…]

Several minutes passed and the man was still lying in the middle of the street after being shot. Medics could not tend to his injuries because he refused to take his hands out of his pockets.

"He was described as conscious and alert, just uncooperative," Smith said. "He was saying no when we were asking him to comply."

Eventually, the man complied to police orders and the robot disarmed him of his vest.

Reagan Family Slams Will Ferrell Over New Movie Mocking Former President With Dementia

Having impersonated former President George W. Bush in a number of sketches on “Saturday Night Live,” actor Will Ferrell is no stranger to political comedy. But a new role he will reportedly play as former President Ronald Reagan has many up in arms—and for good reason.

Sources tell Variety Ferrell is attached to star as President Reagan in the Black List script “Reagan.”

Penned by Mike Rosolio, the story begins at the start of the then-president’s second term when he falls into dementia and an ambitious intern is tasked with convincing the commander-in-chief that he is an actor playing the president in a movie.

The script was so popular following its announcement on the Black List, an annual catalog of the top unproduced scripts in Hollywood, that a live read was done recently done in March starring Lena Dunham and John Cho.

Ferrell will produce along with production banner Gary Sanchez Productions. The package currently is without a director, but will soon be shopped to studios.

Reagan’s family has expressed outrage over the film, along with a number of other Twitter users.

His daughter Patti Davis also wrote an open letter to Ferrell, explaining how their family watched helplessly as their father drifted away. 

"Alzheimer’s is the ultimate pirate, pillaging a person’s life and leaving an empty landscape behind," she writes. "It sweeps up entire families, forcing everyone to claw their way through overwhelming grief, confusion, helplessness, and anger. Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have — I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either." 

Even if you haven’t experienced a loved passing through the heartbreaking stages of Alzheimer’s, one would think we could all agree that anyone suffering from the disease shouldn’t be made fun of for it. Then again, this is Hollywood we're talking about, and Reagan was a Republican.

Friday Fun: Farmer Sprays Manure at Hollywood Star for Fracking Protest on His Land

This video is almost certain to start your day off right. One U.K. farmer got so mad at Oscar winning actress Emma Thompson and her sister for breaking a court injunction protecting a fracking site on his land that he sprayed raw manure at them.

The stars were filming a Great British Bake Off parody for Greenpeace when the owner of the field they trespassed on drove his muck spreader in circles around the demonstrators. 

A group of protesters were hit by the manure but the actresses remained dry in their tent, complete with Bake Off-inspired bunting.

Police were also called and also spoke to the actresses, who climbed over a gate and set up camp on land earmarked for gas exploration in Fylde, Lancashire.

Emma and Sophie, who won Celebrity Masterchef, filmed a pastiche episode of the Great British Bake Off called Frack Free Bake Off to voice their opposition to the fracking plans.

But this afternoon the landowner, who leases the contested patch of land to fracking company Cuadrilla, drove his muck spreader in circles around the demonstrating group.

After a couple of circles around the group, who were shouting for him to stop it, the farmer drove off. 

Protesters are banned from the site, near Preston, after company Cuadrilla applied for an injunction in 2014.

It is not clear if the fracking company will now take civil action - but it appears unlikely.

It’s too bad he wasn’t able to get close enough but it was a valiant effort nonetheless.

In Dramatic Reversal, Army Retains Green Beret Who Roughed Up Child Rapist in Afghanistan

The Army on Thursday announced its decision to retain Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland, who was ordered discharged last year after he roughed up a local Afghan police commander for repeatedly raping a little boy and then beating his mother.

Outrage against the Army’s actions rightfully ensued after the incident, since the Green Beret had served honorably for more than 11 years and most would argue that taking a stand against a child rapist was the right thing to do, morally speaking.

But, his actions came at a time when U.S. soldiers were being told to ignore rampant sexual abuse of young children by our Afghan allies because “it’s their culture.”

Now, however, the Army has issued a stunning reversal.

Fox News has the details:

Sgt 1st Class Charles Martland, confirmed the Army's decision to retain him when reached by Fox News, who has been covering the story in depth for the past eight months and first broke the story of the Army's decision in August to kick out Martland over the incident, which occurred in northern Afghanistan in 2011.  […]

As first reported by Fox News, while deployed to Kunduz Province, Afghanistan, Martland and his team leader confronted a local police commander in 2011 accused of raping an Afghan boy and beating his mother. When the man laughed off the incident, they shoved him to the ground.

Martland and his team leader were later removed from the base, and eventually sent home from Afghanistan. The U.S. Army has not confirmed the specifics of Martland's separation from service citing privacy reasons, but a “memorandum of reprimand” from October 2011 obtained by Fox News makes clear that Martland was criticized by the brass for his intervention after the alleged rape. Asked for comment inSeptember 2015, an Army spokesman reiterated, "the U.S. Army is unable to confirm the specifics of his separation due to the Privacy Act." 

An Army spokesman said Thursday that Martland's status has been changed, allowing him to stay in the Army in a statement to Fox News. 

"I am real thankful for being able to continue to serve," Martland told Fox News. "I appreciate everything Congressman Duncan Hunter and his Chief of Staff, Joe Kasper did for me."

Hunter was very outspoken in support of Martland, writing a letter to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter defending the Green Beret and even introducing legislation that would empower U.S. troops to block sexual abuse on foreign soil.

"The Army did the right thing and we won--the American people, won," Hunter told Fox News. "Martland is who we want out there."

Poll: Nearly a Quarter of Voters Wouldn’t Participate in a Trump-Clinton Matchup

Nearly a quarter of voters say they either wouldn’t vote at all or would cast their ballot for a third party candidate if the general election comes down to Trump v. Clinton, according to new Rasmussen Reports national survey.

But 16% say they would vote for some other candidate if the presidential election comes down to those two, while six percent (6%) would stay home. Only two percent (2%) are undecided given those options. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Still, the picture appears to be improving for both candidates. In early March, 49% of voters told us they would definitely vote against Trump if he is the presidential nominee of the Republican Party, but nearly as many (42%) said they would definitely vote against Clinton if she is the Democratic Party’s nominee.

Trump is more toxic within his own party than Clinton is in hers. If Trump is the Republican nominee, 16% of GOP voters say they would choose a third-party candidate, while five percent (5%) would stay home. Sixty-six percent (66%) would vote for Trump, but 10% would vote for Clinton instead.

If Clinton is the Democratic nominee, 11% of Democrats would vote third-party, while three percent (3%) would stay home. Seventy-five percent (75%) would support the nominee, but 11% say they would vote for Trump.

The poll also found Trump and Clinton tied at 38 percent among likely voters.

BREXIT: Brits Wanting To Leave the EU Spikes After Obama Tried To Convince Them To Stay In It

On June 23, British citizens will vote whether they will remain or exit the European Union. It’s a delicate issue that has reaped political havoc with Britain’s Conservative Party. It was partially responsible for the defeat of John Major’s government prior to Labour’s 1997 landslide that ushered in Tony Blair into 10 Downing Street. Fears of European instability are being debated ahead of the scheduled vote. In February, it was made known that President Obama would try and lobby the United Kingdom to remain in the EU. He also penned an op-ed in The Telegraph, stating that it’s in the UK’s best interest to remain in the EU on April 23.

Via CNN:

"Let me be clear, ultimately this is something that the British voters have to decide for themselves," Obama said at a news conference alongside David Cameron, delivering a boost to the British Prime Minister's bid to safeguard U.K. membership in the EU.

"But as part of our special relationship, part of being friends, is to be honest and to let you know what I think," Obama said.

"Speaking honestly, the outcome of that decision is a matter of deep interest to the United States because it affects our prospects as well," Obama said, and also hinted that the U.K. would be a less valuable ally to Washington if it left the bloc.

"The United Kingdom is at its best when it is helping to lead a strong Europe. It leverages UK power to be part of the European Union," Obama said.

Yet, after all of this shoring up of support with Prime Minister David Cameron, who wants to remain in the EU, support for leaving the EU has spiked (via Reuters):

Opponents of Britain's European Union membership have edged into the lead over the past two weeks, according to a YouGov poll which indicated President Barack Obama's intervention failed to swing support behind "In" vote in a June 23 referendum.

The online survey for The Times taken on April 25-26 showed support for the Out campaign had risen 3 percentage points to 42 percent since a similar survey on April 12-14, while support for the "In" campaign had risen 1 percentage point to 41 percent.

President Barack Obama on Friday warned Britain would be "in the back of the queue" for a trade deal with the United States if it dropped out of the EU, an unusually strong intervention into British politics that "In" campaigners welcomed.

"Some have portrayed Obama's intervention as backfiring - I wouldn't go that far but this poll does suggest that Obama hasn't given the remain team a boost at all," Anthony Wells, director of political research at YouGov, said by telephone.

"It hasn't been a game changer, it hasn't shifted opinion - it hasn't really made much difference at all," said Wells. "We have had a neck and neck for months now and nothing seems to be moving that."

Now, this certainly could be because this issue is a highly polarizing one. On the other hand, this is also part of an ongoing record showing that President Obama really has zero charm when it comes to his speeches. As George Will noted in 2011, giving a speech is his default position, and that he has immense faith in the power of his persuasion. Yet, the more Obama talks about the Affordable Care Act, the more unpopular it becomes. At the time, the president campaigned for Martha Coakley, which only ended with Republican Scott Brown winning the late Ted Kennedy’s Massachusetts Senate seat. He campaigned with then-NJ Gov. Jon Corzine, which ended with Republican Chris Christie winning the governorship. He went to campaign against Bob McDonnell in Virginia’s gubernatorial race, which he won. After 2008, Obama’s speeches depreciated faster than luxury cars leaving the parking lot. What makes him think that it could work across the pond? Obviously, it didn’t.

America Now Has a "National Mammal"

The United States of America will soon have a new national symbol: the bison.

A bill adopting the bison as the "national mammal" of the United States passed the House of Representatives earlier this week, and is expected to be passed by the Senate as well. The bison would join the bald eagle as America's national animals.

An earlier version of the bill had been unanimously approved by the Senate, but this version was slightly tweaked and thus must be re-approved. The bill was sponsored by a bipartisan group of congressmen.

The National Bison Legacy Act, which must get Senate approval before heading to the President's desk for his signature, aims to honor the historical and contemporary significance of the majestic animal.

"No other indigenous species tells America's story better than this noble creature," Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Missouri, said in a statement.

Clay and several other members of the House and the Senate across both parties wrote and co-sponsored the bill.

"The American bison is an enduring symbol of strength, native American culture and the boundless Western wildness," Clay said.

"It is an integral part of the still largely untold story of Native Americans and their historic contributions to our national identity."

Solid move. Bison are pretty great. Here's an adorable picture of a newborn:

Fight Club: Cruz Supporter Tears Into Pro-Trump Commentator, ‘Do You Have Any Integrity At All?’

Well, this was bound to happen between the Cruz and Trump camps. One side accusing the other of engaging in dirty tricks to win delegates, while the other prides itself in being a campaign that’s representative of the voter’s choice. That tension spilled over Thursday afternoon when radio host Steve Deace, a Cruz supporter, got into a spat with CNN’s Kayleigh McEnany over the Texas senator’s running the table on Trump in the state conventions and caucus held in Colorado and Wyoming.

McEnany equated Cruz’s campaign maneuvers in those states, specifically Colorado, as something akin to what establishment politicians does to “put their own personal aspirations first.”

Deace wasn’t having any of it. “Seriously, do you have any integrity at all?” he asked. CNN’s Brooke Baldwin chimed in to remind Deace to keep it professional.

“I am keeping it professional, responded Deace. “She’s the one that’s lying.

65,000 people voted in Colorado at this thing called a caucus, called an election. There has been no voter-less elections. Every delegate has been elected, including the delegates unbound Donald Trump got in Pennsylvania the other night. This is the biggest lie and the biggest scam from a guy that’s lied repeatedly throughout this entire campaign–whose campaign is built on a lie.”

Ouch.

Another Hate Crime Hoax On Campus

In mid-April, Salisbury University students reported finding a picture of a noose drawn on a whiteboard along with the hashtag "whitepower" and a racial slur. Emails sent out by the university's president pledged to find out who was behind the "act of intolerance."

Stop me if you've heard this one before: it turns out the whole thing was a hoax, and the students who drew the offensive drawing were black. No charges are expected to be filed, but the students (who are not being named) may face penalties at the university.

The university confirmed Tuesday, April 26, the students involved in the incident were black, spokesman Richard Culver wrote in an email. The university would not provide names of the students, citing the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

This information was first reported in the university's student newspaper, The Flyer.

Since the incident, Salisbury University Police Department has completed its investigation, Culver said. In consultation with the Wicomico County State’s Attorney’s Office, the department has decided to not file criminal charges at this time.

The investigation is being turned over to the university and will be reviewed for any possible university policy violations, Culver said. If charged, those students who were involved could face disciplinary action.

First things first: let's all be glad that there are no racists writing graffiti on whiteboards at Salisbury University's library. This should be celebrated. Secondly, why on earth would someone fake a hate crime and expect to get away with it? College administrators aren't stupid, and one would think they'd dedicate considerable effort to catch the perpetrator of an act that would bring a substantial amount of bad PR to the school. Staging fake hate crimes doesn't make anyone sympathetic to a cause, and instead it just creates more friction. (Although it's probably a positive if hate crimes are so rare on campus that they have to be invented.)

Like I said in my post about another hate crime hoax, incidents like these make it harder for actual victims to be believed--and that's terrible. Nothing positive comes out of faking a crime.

Trump Mocks Obama's Plan to Heighten Wall Around the White House

The U.S. Secret Service is planning to heighten the fence surrounding the White House after numerous attempts by fence jumpers to breach the property.  Republican frontrunner Donald Trump reminded Obama that building walls helps keep people who do not belong out.

“President Obama understands that you build strong, tall, beautiful walls to keep people out who don't belong,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “People who get permission can enter the White House LEGALLY!”

The U.S. Secret Service plans to raise the height of the White House security fence by 5 feet and add a new concrete foundation.  

“The current fence simply is not adequate for a modern era. We’ve said that before. It is becoming more and more acutely clear that that is in fact the case,” Secret Service official Tom Dougherty said in the briefing to federal officials.

The agency, along with the National Park Service, said it intends to begin building a “taller, stronger” fence in the coming year.

Look How Ted Cruz Signed This Copy of The Communist Manifesto

At a campaign stop, someone asked Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to sign a copy of the Communist Manifesto. Cruz obliged--with a bit of a twist.

"Millions have suffered because of this."

Well, he's not wrong.

This is actually a pretty clever retort to a person who was trying to pull a fast one on the candidate--and it's always a good idea to give a misguided young person a history lesson.

Establishment: Team Trump's Strange New Respect for Boehner, McConnell


Over the last 24 hours, Donald Trump and his allies have giddily quoted and cheered on two unlikely figures: Former House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Trump cited McConnell on the stump, attacking Cruz for antagonizing many of his colleagues in the US Senate. And Trumpworld is reveling in on-the-record comments from Boehner, who called Cruz "Lucifer in the flesh," and a "miserable" SOB. The Trump train is ostensibly fueled by anger at Washington's various betrayals, and a rigged system that benefits insiders and elites at the expense of average Americans. But the billionaire's bandwagon is more than happy to embrace card-carrying, central-casting members of The Establishment, so long as they're saying or doing things that are deemed helpful to the 'Trumpstablishment.' Trump supporters angrily rail against Beltway fat cats who "go along to get along" in political fights, then prance from one lavish cocktail party to the next, toasting their own superiority. Then they'll turn around and applaud bona fide establishment fixtures -- from Rudy Giuliani, to New Gingrich, to Boehner and McConnell -- while applying that now-meaningless term to conservatives who oppose Trump on policy and ideological grounds. Suddenly "go along to get along" is a necessary and laudable dealmaking virtue, and policy arguments are for uppity, weak-kneed nerds. Perhaps nothing better encapsulates the anti-intellectual, emotive phenomenon at play than this exchange between Rush Limbaugh and a caller on yesterday's show.  Take it away, Sean in Philly:


Here's a seemingly bright and relatively articulate guy who's listened to Limbaugh since the very beginning breezily explaining that supporting Trump "isn't about conservatism...I know he's not a conservative." Trump is so appealing, he says, because he'll "fight dirty" against the Democrats, unlike the emasculated losers who've populated the GOP for years. As an example of that problem, the caller cites the Obamacare repeal fight:

"We have a landslide victory. We give [Republicans] the House. Do they repeal Obamacare? No! They do nothing. They say, 'well, we can't do anything because we don't have the Senate.' Okay, we give you the Senate. What do you do? 'Oh, we're not going to do anything because we're going to take our only weapon off the table before, you know, we do battle with these people.' We're sick and tired of fighting with people who won't fight."

First of all, if you agree with every word of this indictment, you should be very upset with...John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, freshly-minted allies in the fight to crush Cruz, who gave both men headaches over political tactics. Secondly, despite Sean's palpable frustration, his version of events (shared by many right-leaning voters) is just flat-out false. House Republicans have voted to repeal Obamacare in its entirety and on a piecemeal basis literally dozens of times. They've been mocked for it by the Left, who never point out that some of those votes succeeded and were signed into law. And after Republicans captured in the Senate, what happened? McConnell and company didn't take their "only weapon" off the table. They used it. They employed a process called 'reconciliation' to force through an Obamacare repeal vote that was not subject to a Democratic filibuster, using the very same tactic Harry Reid used to pass the law in order to get a repeal bill onto the president's desk. And then what? Obama vetoed it, and neither House had a two-thirds majority to override the veto. That is how the system works under the constitution, a document that conservatives claim to revere. Republicans did literally everything within their power to eradicate this unpopular, failing law -- including a very controversial government shutdown in 2013. That strategy, which ultimately failed, was spearheaded by Ted Cruz, who Sean from Philly goes on to criticize for, uh, not fighting. This represents near-total detachment from reality, yet he and many others vigorously believe all of it.

Is the GOP partially at fault for this? Yes, they've made promises that couldn't be kept and made it seem like winning midterm elections would be sufficient to stop the Obama agenda in its tracks (partially true) and reverse much of it (much less true). Nevertheless, the notion that Republican majorities have "done nothing" or "surrendered" in every fight is simply not the case.  The kicker?  In addition to conceding that Trump isn't a conservative, Limbaugh's caller admits that he "disagrees with probably 80 percent of what he believes." Yet he's given his vote to Trump because at least he the billionaire will engage in hard-nosed political fisticuffs -- even if he's fighting on the wrong side in four out of every five battles.  There is no reasoning with this mentality, which prizes belligerence and emotional score-settling over all else.  We're told that rejecting this petulant, sophomoric justification both on principle, and with an eye toward the fall, is an "establishment" ploy.  We're living through the official demise of that term.  In fact, since everyone's just tossing it about based on fleeting feelings, one could easily argue that as backers of a big government, tax-hikin', McConnell-quotin', Planned Parenthood defendin', Boehner textin', repeat Hillary donor who brags about buying pols, and golfs with virtually every powerful insider in the country, Trump and gang are the establishment.  We must resist the sellout GOPt. I'll leave you with left-wing California Senator Barbara Boxer effectively going to bat for Trump...at least for now:



Wow: Former Speaker John Boehner Calls Cruz 'Lucifer in the Flesh'

It’s been quite clear that Ted Cruz is not a popular guy in Washington—from extreme examples like Sen. Lindsey Graham joking about how to get away with murdering him, to benign statements expressing discontent with the Texas senator like former President George W. Bush saying ‘he just doesn’t like the guy.’

Enter John Boehner, former speaker of the House, whose latest comments about Cruz suggest he not only doesn’t like him—he loathes him.

When asked about Cruz at Stanford University on Wednesday, Boehner reportedly made a face of disgust before saying, “Lucifer in the flesh.”

“I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life," he added.

Boehner described other Republican candidates as friends. In particular, the former speaker said he has played golf with Donald Trump for years and that they were “texting buddies.”

His friendship with Ohio Governor John Kasich, however, was a little more ambiguous.

“[Kasich] requires more effort on my behalf than all my other friends … but he’s still my friend, and I love him,” Boehner said.

Boehner said that if Trump becomes the Republican nominee he would vote for him, but added that he would not do the same should Cruz get the nomination.

Cruz used the comments in a Twitter response on Thursday, painting Boehner and Trump as part of the establishment.  

Man In A Panda Suit Threatens To Blow Up Fox45 Building In Baltimore

There’s a man in a panda suit who is occupying the Fox45 building in Baltimore. Based on reports from the station’s news team, the person claims to have an explosive device, along with a thumb drive that supposedly contains information that is similar in nature to the Panama Papers. Prior to the building’s evacuation, he wanted to get this information on air. The news director at Fox45 wouldn’t allow him to do that, but said he could leave the thumb drive with them–he refused. He was reportedly upset with the government, and set a car on fire in the parking lot prior to entering the building (via FoxBaltimore):

The man broke into the Sinclair-owned Fox affiliate at about 1:20 p.m. demanding the news station cover a story about some sort of government conspiracy. The man was wearing a surgical mask, sunglasses and a bizarre outfit described as an animal "onesie." The building was evacuated and security measures taken. Outside, a dark colored sedan was burning from its gas tank. The car belonged to the suspect who is also believed to have started the fire before walking into the lobby.

According to the station's security guard an unidentified suspect threatened to "blow up" the building. The suspect walked into the station's vestibule area and demanded to be let inside. The two conversed for about 45 minutes.

[…]

"Someone came into the front of the building and they apparently said that they had some information they wanted to get on the air," FOX45 News Director Mike Tomko told reporters. "I came down at one point not knowing the person was in the lobby, near the vestibule area. He talked to me and was wearing what appears to be a full body white panda suit, surgical mask and sunglasses. He had a flash drive, said he had information he wanted to get on the air. He compared it to the information found in the Panama Papers. I told him, 'I can't let you in, you're going to have to leave the flash drive here and slide it through the opening.' He wouldn't do that. Apparently he had made some threats before."

Updates to follow.

UPDATE: Bean bag rounds reportedly fired, suspect possibly down.

UPDATE II: Bomb squad is on the scene, trying to use a robot to get the suspect to show his hands. A Baltimore Police sniper shot the suspect, a 20-year old male, when he refused to comply with orders from law enforcement. Suspect still has hand inside pocket.

UPDATE III: The suspect was shot several times by three Baltimore police officers. He’s in stable, but serious condition. The thumb drive containing what was suppose to be information as sensitive as the Panama Papers turned out to be related to astrology. The “bomb” turned out to be candy bars wrapped in foil. 

Poll: Overwhelming Majority of Americans Oppose Lawsuits Against Gun Manufacturers Over Gun Violence

Well, there appears to be a consensus among American voters when it comes to lawsuits filed against gun manufacturers and dealers over gun violence: they don’t support them. That’s right. The overwhelming majority of Americans do not support suing the gun industry over mass shootings; therefore, they don’t support repealing the wonderful Protection of Lawful Commerce In Arms Act (PLCAA) that gives firearms manufacturers much needed legal protection against anti-gun liberals (via NSSF):

Seven of 10 American voters do not support allowing crime victims to sue firearm manufacturers and retailers when firearms they made or sold lawfully after background checks are used illegally in crime. Instead, voters from across political parties and geographic regions back the defense that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) provides the firearms industry.

More than 70 percent of voters disagree with a position one presidential candidate has made a centerpiece of her campaign. Like that candidate, others running for federal office have chosen to run against and misrepresent this decade-old law that prevents crime victims from suing firearm manufacturers and retailers who have not broken any laws.

These findings were among the results of a national scientific poll of 1,000 registered voters conducted in mid-April by Harper Polling and released today by the National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry.

[…]

A majority of voters in all regions of the country say the statement about keeping PLCAA more closely reflects their opinion (Midwest: 70 percent, Northeast: 64 percent, South: 73 percent, West: 75 percent). This holds true even for a majority of those who cast a vote for President Obama in the last election (53 percent) and for a majority of non-gun owners (56 percent).

“The concept that an entire industry should not be held liable for the criminal or negligent use of products made and sold legally clearly makes sense to the overwhelming majority of the American public, as these poll results demonstrate” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel.

Unlike the lies peddled by Hillary Clinton, the PLCAA isn’t an absolute legal shield. If a gun manufacturer, or dealer, allows a firearm to fall into the hands of a known criminal, and that felon subsequently uses the firearm in a crime that results in a fatality, then the victim’s family can rightfully bring those parties into court. In 2015, a jury awarded two Wisconsin police officers $5 million after they suffered severe injuries from being shot by a handgun sold during an illegal transaction. The dealers who sold the gun were found to be negligent in picking up signs that the firearm was part of a straw purchase.

When Adam Lanza’s mother, Nancy, bought an AR-15 rifle, it was never intended to be used in a mass shooting that left 20 school kids dead in 2012. Lanza murdered his mother and essentially stole her firearms to commit his heinous act. That’s not the fault of the dealer. That’s not the fault of Remington Arms, which is at the center of a pivotal legal battle that could create the foundations for lawsuits against any manufacturer that makes the AR-15; a rifle that is owned by millions of Americans. The trial date is set for 2018.

Friendly Reminder: Support for gun rights is at a 25-year high; gun homicides are at record lows; and support for so-called assault weapons bans has flipped, with more Americans opposing this frivolous gun control policy than supporting it. Progress is beautiful.

ICE Released 19,723 Criminal Illegal Immigrants In 2015, Including 208 Murderers

In 2015, ICE released nearly 20,000 illegal immigrants who were convicted of crimes. This number includes over 12,000 who were convicted of drunk driving, 900 who were convicted of sex crimes, and 208 who were convicted of murder.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in 2015 decided not to deport but release 19,723 criminal illegal immigrants, including 208 convicted of murder, over 900 convicted of sex crimes and 12,307 of drunk driving, according to new government numbers.

Overall, those released into virtually every state and territory of America had a total of 64,197 convictions among them, for an average of 3.25 convictions each, according to an analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies. ICE also said that the group were convicted of 8,234 violent crimes.

ICE is also making far fewer arrests than it has in recent years.

Murderers and criminals should be deported, not released. Two hundred and eight murderers is 208 too many.